Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Term limits create revolving door

For New Yorkers who voted to impose term limits on the City Council, the promise was to sweep clean a moldering institution and fill it with “citizen legislators” who would bring energy and fresh ideas from the private sector, where they would return after their eight-year allotments.

Here They Run Again: Term Limits Don’t Seem to Faze Council Members

But as the first class of councilors elected under the term limits law in 2001 prepares to leave office next year, the very opposite is becoming reality: With lawmakers seeking new elective offices and career politicians looking to join, or rejoin, the body, the Council may well become a political revolving door.

Already, 20 of the 35 Council members who are being forced from office have filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board to run for another position. And at least a dozen of those planning to compete for open Council seats have budding or established political careers, including state officials, relatives of Council members and even a few former councilors who collectively have decades of service under their belts.


Anonymous said...

Don't throw out the baby with the bath water. You need to let this system work itself through.

Over time the number of members leaving office will start to even out.

Over time, when it becomes obvious to everyone that an official is simply using the office as a stepping stone, a warm seat to be held by a relative, or a revolving door, the public will react negatively.

They will start to frown on this, and not give it support. Then the beauty and promise of term limits will become apparent.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The problem is that the average Joe does not know how to become a candidate. If I knew where to get the candidacy forms, how many signatures to collect, and when to hand them in, maybe I'd also throw my hat into the ring.

Queens Crap should post a "Guide for Prospective Candidates"

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the average Joe does not know how to become a candidate.


No accident. The machine controls NY and has legislation in place making it almost impossible to run.

Interesting how the South, a generation ago, was forced by the governement to make voting easier.

Now we need the feds to step into NY and make running for office easier, too.

What the hell is the point of voting if you have no choice?

Anonymous said...

Good point. Like the racist preservation movement, the electorial process in NYC is flawed, in plain sight of the chatting classes, and nary a boo.

But human rights for Dafur, concern for economic refugees from Mexico, cyclone victims of Burma, front and center.

Meanwhile American citizens are getting mistreated right across the East River, and ... well ... nothing.